What any Wanna-Be Entrepreneur Must Know Before Taking a Leap Into the Unknown
The True Entrepreneur is a Doer. Not a Dreamer. (Nolan Bushnell)
There is no lesson greater in life than learning from entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurship. Being an entrepreneur signifies so many different things to so many different people, and there is no entrepreneur like another, because despite of the many characteristics and personality traits shared by (successful) entrepreneurs, every entrepreneur is still unique, a courageous but most definitely not fearless individual who has chosen the exciting, and often rewarding road of entrepreneurship due to one reason or another.
Entrepreneurs are often dreamers, but more than dreamers they are doers, and people with vision and strong will-power, dedication and a willingness to change things for the better, to improve the world, and to influence people around them and society with their activities. Nevertheless, before making the leap and before jumping into the unknown, every wanna-be-entrepreneur should take into consideration a number of very important things. Many of these lessons, unfortunately, are often learned only through experience, especially if the enthusiastic entrepreneur does not take time to listen to sound advice given to them by people who have already had the same experiences. Many failures could be avoided by listening, and by engaging with valuable mentors. Yet, every entrepreneur also ought to listen to their inner voice, i.e. their intuition before and when making decisions.
60-80 % of all new jobs come from small business. (US Small Business Association)
This is true not only in the United States, where already 30 % of total workforce are freelancers, according to successful entrepreneur Tony Robbins and his team: 7 Finance Tips for Freelancers, but also everywhere else in the world. Self-employment and small businesses, in fact, are the lifeblood of any society. An additional fact that every professional ought to understand is that every economy does rely very heavily upon entrepreneurship, micro-, and small businesses. And, every large-scale business has begun small – it is only a matter of studying the history of any large organization, and see where it once has started, how it has evolved and developed throughout the decades, and where it stands today.
The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create it (Peter Drucker)
Listen to the naysayers. Also listen to the optimists.
Definitely – do listen to the naysayers – but do not let them discourage you from realizing your plans. The naysayers often have important lessons to share that we can ultimately benefit, and learn from. However, make sure not to let the pessimists sway you away from believing in what you do. Every naysayer has a reason for their behavior, and their attitude is 100 % about either negative personal experiences, or fear. Every entrepreneur has to listen to, and learn from, naysayers and pessimists, but most importantly, focus more upon, and learn from those who have gone from failure to failure, yet never given up – those, who ultimately are the real optimists, and who have achieved success despite of the many ups and downs that their entrepreneurship may have involved.
Know What You Love. Know What You Want. And, go for it!
Entrepreneurship, at its best, is all about doing what you really love, and fulfilling your passions. Entrepreneurship, like life, is not about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself, and the world you want to see around you. Being a successful entrepreneur is not a part-time, or even a full-time job. It is a lifestyle. Be brave enough to take the leap, especially if and when you want to fulfill your personal life mission instead of living someone else´s dream, in a 9 to 5 job. To become, and to be a successful entrepreneur is about believing in yourself and in your dreams regardless of what anyone else may have to say.
Plan Your Business (Activities), but also be prepared for changing your plans and goals along the journey.
Planning one´s activities is one of the most important aspects of successful entrepreneurship. If this is one of your weaknesses, make sure to learn how to plan, both short-term, and long-term. And, find someone who can help you with the planning if you personally are a lousy planner. Entrepreneurship is not a hobby – it is in fact hard work, and no matter if it is a lifestyle, planning your dream lifestyle with all necessary activities included, does require careful planning. Value your personal time much enough in order to take the necessary time, and make the effort to plan your activities. Otherwise, you will be unfocused and risk burning yourself out.
Get a(n) experienced mentor/mentors. Value fruitful relationships. Network.
Every entrepreneur needs at least one mentor, perhaps several. Make sure to find mentors with whom you have a respectful, honest, and objective (business) relationship. Seek mentors who are entrepreneurs themselves. And, make sure to focus upon building long-term, mutually beneficial (business) relationships. Network. No entrepreneur survives alone, and every successful entrepreneur seeks advice from a number of professionals – choose wisely.
Choose Your Partners Carefully
Many entrepreneurs go solo, while others prefer partnering up with other people. If you partner up with someone, make sure the professional in question is sharing your enthusiasm, vision, but most of all, that you can rely upon him/her. Business is always business. Make sure to have everything on paper, and make proper agreements/contracts (not only in spoken form). Many entrepreneurs have stated the fact that they wish they had signed that contract. Do not take anything for granted, or trust anyone but yourself.
A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship. (John D. Rockefeller)
The 10 Myths of Entrepreneurship (published on YouTube by HSGUniStGallen):